In the 1950’s, Durham North Carolina was like most cities in the South: hot and segregated. At the time, the civil rights movement was already polarizing the nation, with the Montgomery bus boycotts in 1955 bringing to prominence such names as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks (see “African Americans boycott buses for integration in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., 1955-1956”). In Mississippi, the brutal murder of Emmett Till that same year became an archetype of the horrendous nature of southern racism at its most cruel. Amidst the violence and racial tension, Martin Luther King Jr.
The Montgomery, Alabama sit-ins took place during the era of Jim Crow laws in the southern United States. The first of the Supreme Court rulings against these laws – which are symbolized by the phrase “Separate but Equal” – took place in 1954, in the form of Brown v. Board of Education; in this ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that separate education facilities based on race were inherently discriminatory, putting minorities at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.
After the meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in March 1979, northern Californian residents feared that a similar incident could occur at their local nuclear plant, Ranch Seco. Located 25 miles southeast of Sacramento, the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station operated a system of reactors that was a technological twin to the facility at Three Mile Island, both designed by General Electric. With the U.S.
African Americans campaign for desegregation of department store eating facilities in Kansas City, Missouri, 1958-59
By 1955 in Kansas City, most public facilities and privately owned businesses were desegregated. However, a report by William Gremley of the Human Relations Commission (HRC) identified the problem and criticized the practice of segregated eating establishments as harmful to race relations, unethical, and unattractive to prospective conventions and foreign dignitaries. In March 1957, Gremley attempted to address this issue and meet with William G. Austin, manager of the KC Merchants' Association, but Austin never followed through.
While the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled against denying citizens from participation in elections, de facto racism in the country’s South kept countless African Americans from casting votes well into the 20th century. Despite the fact that African Americans represented roughly 70% of Fayette County, Tennessee’s population in 1960, before 1959 fewer than a dozen had voted. In contrast to other southern states, Tennessee had none of the poll taxes or literacy tests that would formally restrict voting. James F.
Despite passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, several outrageous incidents over the following two years demonstrated the double standard of justice for blacks and whites. Blacks were brutally attacked, murdered, and targeted in an attempted church burning, all of which resulted either in no prosecution or acquittal by an all-white jury. In 1967, the Florida Parishes of Louisiana still remained an active stronghold for the Ku Klux Klan.
Black activists, determined to carry on with their struggle for equality, decided to march straight through Klan territory.
In the late 1950s, Louisville, Kentucky, became known as a regional leader in race relations due to the passage of peaceful school integration laws in 1956. Although laws targeting segregation had been passed, Louisville’s public accommodations continued to be segregated. This persistence of inequality between the African Americans and the European Americans spurred much protest in the black community, especially among youth.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Deborah Meier and Ted Sizer began an initiative towards innovative structural and curricular educational reforms in New York. By the 1990s, 28 alternative high schools had begun using portfolios of Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) for graduation. Believing that in education one-size-does-not-fit-all, the goal of these schools was to create a curriculum that was personalized and student-driven by focusing on fostering inquiry, personalization, and exploration.
U.S. anti-nuclear activists and community members force closure of Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, 1976-1989
In 1965 Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) president John J. Tuomy announced the intent to open a nuclear power plant in East Shoreham on Long Island New York at LILCO’s annual shareholders' meeting. Construction on the site commenced in 1973.
In 1976 local residents held their first protest against the construction of the Shoreham Plant, but details of this action are difficult to ascertain. About this time however, Nora Bredes and other local mothers began voicing specific concerns about the community’s health at local county meetings.
Young people powered a major part of the civil rights movement in the United States. In particular, sit-ins proved to be a powerful tool that students across the country utilized. One of the biggest student sit-ins took place in Baltimore in 1960. The goal of the sit-in was to desegregate department store restaurants. Despite only lasting three weeks, the campaign was very successful.
In 1957, in an effort to frustrate increasing black voter registration and the threat of losing a white voter majority, Alabama state senator Sam Engelhardt sponsored Act 140, which proposed to transform the Tuskegee City boundaries from a square into a twenty-eight sided shape resembling a “seahorse” that included every single one of the 600 white voters and excluded all but 5 of the 400 black voters.
Pilson, Chicago is home to a large community of Mexican immigrants, and is one of many low-income neighborhoods in Chicago with underfunded schools. In 2011, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) faced a deficit of around $712 million in funding for education, creating what seemed like a void in the resources available for many public schools. At the beginning of the new millennium, Whittier Elementary School was one of more than 150 public schools that lacked basic resources such as an adequate cafeteria, safe and maintained buildings, and a proper library.
After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, groups of whites advocating for continued segregation formed across the southern United States. The strongest and most notable were white citizens councils (WCCs), which began in Mississippi and erupted shortly thereafter in every southern state.
Led by the nonviolent action organization Operation Rescue, thousands of mostly working and middle class Christians from Evangelical and Catholic denominations waged a massive sit-in campaign between 1987 and 1990 to promote pro-life values. The campaign culminated in a nationally organized multi-year wave of nonviolent blockades of medical clinics. Legal action by women’s organizations and new federal laws put a stop to the campaign.
By the late 1950s, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was nearly two decades old, and had grown to successfully organize a national network of interracial, nonviolent direct-action cells working towards integration and civil rights for African Americans. CORE’s interracial approach stemmed from their assertion that the race problem is a human, social problem applicable to all people. Their incredible growth between 1957 and 1959 stemmed not only from the added support of Dr.
In 2011, the prisoners of California’s Pelican Bay State Prison declared that they had endured enough inhumane conditions of confinement. On 1 July, 6,000 prisoners initiated the largest prison hunger strike in California’s history.
In July 1976, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the construction permit for the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. Leading up to this point, local activists in the small New Hampshire town had attempted to prevent the establishment of a nuclear plant via legal methods such as regulation agencies, the court systems, and a town meeting vote in opposition of the project.
Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant was Maine’s only nuclear plant, located in Wiscasset. The plant began running in late 1972 and throughout its operation accounted for one-third of the state’s electric power.
On July 14, 2002, members of ADAPT (formerly Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit) blocked in five governors’ courtesy SUVs and harassed participants at the National Governors Association (NGA) Conference in downtown Boise, Idaho, in an attempt to gain support for the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act, or MiCASSA. ADAPT developed MiCASSA with the intention to help people with disabilities on Medicaid choose whether to spend their support services money on nursing homes or on personal care attendants.
In 1954, Congress approved the Atomic Energy Act in an attempt to jumpstart nuclear energy in the United States. The Atomic Energy Commission was charged with creating a positive image of the peaceful applications of nuclear power as well as with regulating safety measures.
A Read’s Drug Store was built at the corner of Howard and Lexington Streets in 1934, when it was first praised as a local landmark and the modern flagship store for the chain. The store was located at the center of the downtown shopping district and the business grew as Read’s drug store expanded throughout downtown Baltimore and surrounding regions.